Open Letter To Hillary, Obama, McCain And News Editors TV, Radio and Print
By Eileen Fleming
02 April, 2008
Just hours after U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice left the region for the second time, Israel announced plans Monday for 1,400 new homes on Palestinian land. Jerusalem's city hall announced it will build 600 new apartments in Pisgat Zeev, a Jewish "neighborhood" in the eastern sector of the city and a place I visited in 2006. Pisgat Zeev is an Orwellian Disney World of swimming pools, playgrounds and lush landscape less than a five minute drive from Anata, refugee camp, where The Wall is butted up to the boy's high school.
The playground for Anata is a slab of cement at the high school about the square footage of a basketball court. One of the resident refugees told me, "The Israeli forces show up when the children gather in the morning or after classes. They throw percussion bombs or gas bombs into the school nearly every day. The world is sleeping; the world is hibernating and allowing this misery to continue."
"Neighborhood" is a euphemism for settlement. Every settlement in the West Bank is illegal under international law.
On March 31, 2008, Israel began taking down some of the 50 West Bank roadblocks it pledged to remove during Rice's visit. Israel still maintains more than 500 checkpoints and roadblocks, claiming "security" - euphemism for total control of the indigenous people's right to move and export their goods; another reason the Palestinian economy is in ruins.
"What this country needs is a President who won't just do what's right when the politics are easy, but will stand up when the politics are hard." - Senator Obama
The policies the United States has pursued since the Six Day War have failed to achieve security for Israel and have been an injustice unto Palestinians.
All we the people hear from our politicians is the same failure to lead in the way of equal human rights and international law. All we the people hear is an increasingly fervent repetition of the status quo and bankrupt policies that have brought us to this point in time where 'civilized' people consider-some even relish-the thought of unleashing the terror of another nuclear bomb.
On January 23, 2008, Senator Obama sent a letter to Zalmay Khalilzad, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, about a proposed Security Council resolution on the situation in Gaza. Obama focused on condemning Palestinian rocket attacks against Israel, but made no mention of the ongoing Israeli bombardments and raids that have killed hundreds of innocent residents of Gaza, as well as the calculated Israeli policy of denying the necessities of life - food, clean drinking water, medicines, medical care, school supplies, and the energy needed to power sewage treatment plants and hospital operating rooms - to the 1.5 million open air prisoners, of whom more than half are children.
Obama wrote that "Israel is forced to do this." Obama denounced Hamas as a terrorist organization, but ignored its repeated offers of a long-term truce with Israel - offers the Israeli government has repeatedly immediately rejected, although polls show that more than 60 percent of Israel's own population favors negotiations with Hamas.
Not Obama, not McCain and not Clinton have offered even a word of criticism of Israel, or of sympathy for the people of Gaza.
This is not "change we can believe in" and what we the people need is the chance to begin the world again. This time we do have it in our power to begin the world again, but we need the corporate media to ask the questions we the people of America must have answers to.
Where are the candidates on Gaza, Jerusalem, the rights of refugees, The Wall, the continuing settlements, the over 500 checkpoints that deny the indigenous people of that land the right to access their land, jobs and holy sites in light of this year; the 60th anniversary of Israel and the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights- upon which Israel's statehood was contingent upon upholding.
Having lived in occupied Palestine for a total of ten weeks spread over five trips, I attest that Military Occupation dehumanizes the occupied and will reap many without hope. Only a person without hope that things will improve could even consider strapping on a bomb and killing themselves.
We the people in the land of the free and home of the brave, actually have some power before we elect another president who will maintain the status quo. Yeah, we can. We can do that, we can elect a politician beholden to the Military Industrial Complex, corporate interests, lobbyists, the religious right. Or we can say, no, not this time.
Might this time we the people see with eyes of the dissidents, rebels and revolutionaries who founded these United States. Might this time we see the world is our country and that all men and women are our sisters and brothers. Might this time our leaders seek to do good and be merciful and just. Might this time our media ask the questions too many of we the people, do not even know must be asked. Might this time our politicians be beholden to we the people and not to any foreign power.
"Observe good faith and justice towards all nations; cultivate peace and harmony with all...and passionate attachments for others should be excluded; and that, in place of them, just and amicable feelings towards all should be cultivated. The nation which indulges towards another a habitual hatred or a habitual fondness is in some degree a slave...a passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils." - George Washington's Farewell Address, 1796.
Eileen Fleming, Reporter and Editor WAWA: http://www.wearewideawake.org/
Author "Keep Hope Alive" and "Memoirs of a Nice Irish American 'Girl's' Life in Occupied Territory"
Producer "30 Minutes With Vanunu" and "13 Minutes with Vanunu"